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    Manifest destiny

    Manifest destiny

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    For other uses, see Manifest Destiny (disambiguation).

    (1872) by John Gast is an allegorical representation of the modernization of the new west. Columbia, a personification of the United States, is shown leading civilization westward with the American settlers. She is shown bringing light from east to west, stringing telegraph wire, holding a book,[1] and highlighting different stages of economic activity and evolving forms of transportation.[2]

    History of U.S.

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    Manifest destiny was a widely held cultural belief in the 19th-century United States that American settlers were destined to expand across North America.[3][4] There are three basic themes to manifest destiny:

    The special virtues of the American people and their institutions

    The mission of the United States to redeem and remake the west in the image of the agrarian East

    An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty[5]

    Newspaper editor John O'Sullivan is generally credited with coining the term in 1845 to describe the essence of this mindset;[6] other historians believe the unsigned editorial titled "Annexation" in which it first appeared was written by journalist and annexation advocate Jane Cazneau.[7][8]

    Historians have emphasized that "manifest destiny" was a contested concept—Democrats endorsed the idea but many prominent Americans (such as Abraham Lincoln,[9] Ulysses S. Grant,[10] and most Whigs) rejected it.[11] Historian Daniel Walker Howe writes, "American imperialism did not represent an American consensus; it provoked bitter dissent within the national polity … saw America's moral mission as one of democratic example rather than one of conquest."[12][13]

    The term was used by Democrats in the 1840s to justify the Mexican–American War and it was also used to negotiate the Oregon boundary dispute. Manifest destiny always limped along because of its internal limitations and the issue of slavery in the United States, says Historian Frederick Merk, and never became a national priority. By 1843, former U.S. President John Quincy Adams, originally a major supporter of the concept underlying manifest destiny, had changed his mind and repudiated expansionism because it meant the expansion of slavery in Texas.[13]


    1 Context 2 Etymology

    3 Themes and influences

    4 Alternative interpretations

    5 Era of continental expansion

    5.1 War of 1812 5.2 Continentalism 5.2.1 All Oregon

    5.3 Mexico and Texas

    5.3.1 All of Mexico 5.4 Filibusterism 5.5 Homestead Act

    5.6 Acquisition of Alaska

    5.7 Native Americans

    6 Beyond mainland North America

    6.1 Spanish–American War

    7 Legacy and consequences

    8 Criticisms 9 See also 10 References 10.1 Citations 10.2 Sources 11 Further reading

    11.1 Journal articles

    11.2 Books 12 External links


    There was never a set of principles defining manifest destiny; it was always a general idea rather than a specific policy made with a motto. Ill-defined but keenly felt, manifest destiny was an expression of conviction in the morality and value of expansionism that complemented other popular ideas of the era, including American exceptionalism and Romantic nationalism. Andrew Jackson, who spoke of "extending the area of freedom", typified the conflation of America's potential greatness, the nation's budding sense of Romantic self-identity, and its expansion.[14][15]

    Yet Jackson would not be the only president to elaborate on the principles underlying manifest destiny. Owing in part to the lack of a definitive narrative outlining its rationale, proponents offered divergent or seemingly conflicting viewpoints. While many writers focused primarily upon American expansionism, be it into Mexico or across the Pacific, others saw the term as a call to example. Without an agreed upon interpretation, much less an elaborated political philosophy, these conflicting views of America's destiny were never resolved. This variety of possible meanings was summed up by Ernest Lee Tuveson: "A vast complex of ideas, policies, and actions is comprehended under the phrase 'Manifest Destiny'. They are not, as we should expect, all compatible, nor do they come from any one source."[16]


    John L. O'Sullivan, sketched in 1874, was an influential columnist as a young man, but he is now generally remembered only for his use of the phrase "manifest destiny" to advocate the annexation of Texas and Oregon.

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    Chapter 15

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    Manifest destiny

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    The United States acquired land in all of these ways (war, treaties, settlement or inheritance) except

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    Terms in this set (16)

    What is the name given to the belief that the United States had the right and duty to expand across the North American continent?

    Manifest destiny

    The United States acquired land in all of these ways (war, treaties, settlement or inheritance) except


    Before the early 1800s, which two countries claimed the Louisiana Territory.

    France and Spain

    How did the Louisiana Purchase affect the United States?

    It doubled the nation's size

    What was one reason the United States wanted to acquire Florida?

    to end raids on Georgia farms

    Why did some northerners oppose the annexation of Texas?

    Texas allowed slavery

    Which event occurred before Stephen F. Austin started a colony in Texas?

    Mexico declared independence

    Which of these was an incentive for settlers to travel to Oregon Country

    fertile farmlands

    Which of these was a campaign slogan in President Polk's 1844 campaign?

    "All of Oregon or none!"

    Why did the Tejanos resent the Americans settling in Texas?

    They were settling illegally

    What was Mexico's policy toward slavery in 1803?

    It was illegal

    Which of these contributed to the start of the Mexican-American War?

    The annexation of Texas by the U.S. Congress

    How was Mexico affected by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo?

    It decreased its territory by half

    Which of these describes President Polk?

    He wanted the United States to increase its territory

    Which opinion was expressed by those who opposed the expansion of the United States

    The United States bullied its weaker neighbors

    What was gained through the Gadsden Purchase of 1853

    A good railroad route to California

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    Manifest Destiny

    Manifest Destiny, a phrase coined in 1845, expressed the philosophy that drove 19th-century U.S. territorial expansion. It contended that the United States was destined by God to expand its dominion and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent.

    Manifest Destiny

    Author: History.com Editors Updated: Nov 15, 2019 Original: Apr 5, 2010


    Louisiana Purchase Texas Independence

    The Coining of 'Manifest Destiny'

    Oregon Territory

    Impact of Manifest Destiny: The Civil War, Native American Wars


    Manifest Destiny, a phrase coined in 1845, is the idea that the United States is destined—by God, its advocates believed—to expand its dominion and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent. The philosophy drove 19th-century U.S. territorial expansion and was used to justify the forced removal of Native Americans and other groups from their homes. The rapid expansion of the United States intensified the issue of slavery as new states were added to the Union, leading to the outbreak of the Civil War.

    Louisiana Purchase

    Thanks to a high birth rate and brisk immigration, the U.S. population exploded in the first half of the 19th century, from around 5 million people in 1800 to more than 23 million by 1850.

    Such rapid growth—as well as two economic depressions in 1819 and 1839—would drive millions of Americans westward in search of new land and new opportunities.

    President Thomas Jefferson kicked off the country’s westward expansion in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase, which at some 828,000 square miles nearly doubled the size of the United States and stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. In addition to sponsoring the western expedition of Lewis and Clark of 1805-07, Jefferson also set his sights on Spanish Florida, a process that was finally concluded in 1819 under President James Monroe.

    But critics of that treaty faulted Monroe and his secretary of state, John Quincy Adams, for yielding to Spain what they considered legitimate claims on Texas, where many Americans continued to settle.

    In 1823, Monroe invoked Manifest Destiny when he spoke before Congress to warn European nations not to interfere with America’s Westward expansion, threatening that any attempt by Europeans to colonize the “American continents” would be seen as an act of war. This policy of an American sphere of influence and of non-intervention in European affairs became known as the “Monroe Doctrine.” After 1870, it would be used as a rationale for U.S. intervention in Latin America.

    Texas Independence

    Cries for the “re-annexation” of Texas increased after Mexico, having won its independence from Spain, passed a law suspending U.S. immigration into Texas in 1830.

    Nonetheless, there were still more Anglo settlers in Texas than Hispanic ones, and in 1836, after Texas won its own independence, its new leaders sought to join the United States. The administrations of both Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren resisted such calls, fearing both war with Mexico and opposition from Americans who believed calls for annexation were linked with the desire to expand slavery in the Southwest.

    But John Tyler, who won the presidency in 1840, was determined to proceed with the annexation. An agreement concluded in April 1844 made Texas eligible for admission as a U.S. territory, and possibly later as one or more states.

    Despite opposition to this agreement in Congress, the pro-annexation candidate James K. Polk won the 1844 election, and Tyler was able to push the bill through and sign it before he left office.

    The Coining of 'Manifest Destiny'

    By the time Texas was admitted to the Union as a state in December 1845, the idea that the United States must inevitably expand westward all the way to the Pacific Ocean had taken firm hold among people from different regions, classes and political persuasions.

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    The phrase “Manifest Destiny,” which emerged as the best-known expression of this mindset, first appeared in an editorial published in the July-August 1845 issue of The Democratic Review.

    In it, the writer criticized the opposition that still lingered against the annexation of Texas, urging national unity on behalf of “the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.”

    As the phrase also appeared in a nearly identical context in a July 1845 article in the New York Morning News, its originator is believed to be John O’Sullivan, the editor of both the Democratic Review and the Morning News at the time. That December, another Morning News article mentioned “manifest destiny” in reference to the Oregon Territory, another new frontier over which the United States was eager to assert its dominion.

    Oregon Territory

    An 1842 treaty between Great Britain and the United States partially resolved the question of where to draw the Canadian border, but left open the question of the Oregon Territory, which stretched from the Pacific Coast to the Rocky Mountains over an area including what is now Oregon, Idaho, Washington State and most of British Columbia.

    Polk, an ardent proponent of Manifest Destiny, had won election with the slogan “54˚ 40’ or fight!” (a reference to the potential northern boundary of Oregon as latitude 54˚ 40’) and called U.S. claims to Oregon “clear and unquestionable” in his inaugural address.

    But as president, Polk wanted to get the issue resolved so the United States could move on to acquiring California from Mexico. In mid-1846, his administration agreed to a compromise whereby Oregon would be split along the 49th parallel, narrowly avoiding a crisis with Britain.

    Source : www.history.com

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